Hoop keeps blind dogs from bumping into things Muffin, 14 and blind, wears a Halo (AP photos)
Hoop keeps blind dogs from bumping into things
Lexile

One pet owner made a promise when her toy poodle fell ill and its vision started to dim. If her dog lived, she would help it overcome any disabilities.

Silvie Bordeaux of Los Angeles kept that vow after Muffin survived a cancer scare but lost his sight. She created Muffin's Halo Guide for Blind Dogs. It's a device that encircles a dog's head and prevents blind pets from running into walls and furniture.

When a blind dog wears a halo, it holds its head higher, its gait changes and its spirits soar. So says Los Angeles dog trainer Bronwyne Mirkovich, who volunteers for the American Maltese Association Rescue.

When the device is put on her dog named Max, "it's like putting an action-hero suit on a little boy," Mirkovich said. "It's like he's bumping with a shield or cane, he's super confident."

Here's how it works.

"If the halo hits the wall first, it will slow them down," said Dr. Christin Fahrer from Eye Care for Animals in Culver City, a suburb of Los Angeles. That will minimize trauma to the face, the veterinarian said.

The halo is made of lightweight copper tubing. The tubing attaches to cloth wings and a harness fitted around the neck and chest. Other products do similar work. They include the infamous cone, known for its use after surgery to protect wounds or stitches. And vests and headbands that also have a piece encircling the head to deter collisions.

They are among a multitude of products peddled to pet owners confronting canine old age, disabilities and injuries. Companies make walkers and lifts or one-of-a-kind mobility equipment for dogs with joints that ache or no longer work. Dog stairs allow older pets to get on beds or sofas. There are ramps to help them into the car. Some owners improvise, making slings, homemade wheelchairs or tripod lifts.

Whether ready-made or owner-constructed, the products can prevent old or hobbled dogs from being turned into shelters. Bordeaux had shelter dogs in mind when launching her line of halos. She thought their chances of adoption would improve if they used the product.

"It might help shelter pets more than average pets in some ways because their environment is constantly in flux," said Fahrer, the veterinarian.

But she said blind dogs don't think about their lack of sight, they just adapt and move on.

"We are the ones who struggle with the concept of our pets being blind," Fahrer said. "We struggle with what it would be like for us. Our pets don't drive or read, but we use our vision every moment of every day. It's a different world for them."

Bordeaux set up a nonprofit to get her halos to blind dogs in shelters and rescues. The devices range from $69.95 to $129.95, and come in different designs, such as angel's wings, butterflies and football uniforms.

"They can eat and sleep and play and run with it on," Bordeaux said. "It's like their superpower."

Critical thinking challenge: How does the halo keep blind dogs from bumping into things?

Filed Under:  
Assigned 73 times


COMMENTS (150)
  • SabrinaP-5
    11/03/2014 - 07:52 p.m.

    It's so generous that people actually took time to make this device for blind dogs. I would of never thought that a device like this could help with blind dogs. The terrible thing is that the inventors didn't discover this before, because a lot of dogs probably would of enjoyed this and not of suffered. The dogs that are blind now are probably very thankful that they have a little bit of their sight back. Dogs didn't have that much to do when this device wasn't made, because they would know what they were doing or where they were going.

    Now that someone actually took time out of their life and created something that can help blind animals is incredible. I think the "halo" keeps blind dogs from bumping into things, cause it is kinda like a surrounding of there areas. The halo goes out and around the dogs head, so if the dog gets close to anything the halo will bump into it and the dog will know that its to close to something. The halo is like eyes for blind dogs cause with this device the blind dogs can actually run and play. Dogs that were blind before never got to do that, because they didn't have this device around.

  • lolak-Orv
    11/03/2014 - 07:53 p.m.

    that's cool. whoever made that did an amazing job, and has really good ideas.
    i would put it on my dog (if he was blind). it would be cool if they had it for other animals too though; like cats, birds (pet birds), etc.

  • SadieB-1
    11/03/2014 - 08:31 p.m.

    Silvie Bordeaux's dog, Muffin, suffered from cancer that was cured, but took his sight. Bordeaux then created a tool that helped Muffin overcome his disabilities. She created a halo that encircles a dogs head that minimizes the impact of a dog's face plant into a wall or any other obstacles. Bronwyne Mirkovich, a dog trainer, says that when the device is put on a dog, it makes him feel like a superhero and it boosts their confidence. I think that it is awesome that dog owners care so much about their dogs, and I learned that dogs don't take blindness like humans do.

  • John0724-YYCA
    11/03/2014 - 08:55 p.m.

    This is cool and this could be very helpful for blind dogs and the dogs owner because they do not need to worry about the dog bumping into anything any more. The guy who made this thing should have a blind dog because he if he knows how a dog feels like bumping into walls he should know it personally.

  • Jason0421-YYCA
    11/03/2014 - 09:06 p.m.

    I think that this invention is really important because there are many dogs these days that are blind. I think that dogs need this for their own good, so that they don't go through surgery. They can go through surgery by hitting walls or get hit by something that is unexpected. I hope this invention works and I hope that this invention won't make the dogs get injured more from using this.
    Critical thinking challenge: How does the halo keep blind dogs from bumping into things?
    Answer: The halo keeps blind dogs from bumping into things by making the halo hit the wall first and then making the dog go slower.

  • ameliat-Orv
    11/03/2014 - 09:08 p.m.

    I think that this is such a great idea! It must be very helpful to blind dogs everywhere. Although, I wonder if that hoop would ever get annoying while you were trying to pet your dog. Or maybe it irritates the dog, too. I also wonder how much money Silvia Bordeaux has made off of this wonderful idea of hers.

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    11/03/2014 - 09:12 p.m.

    That blind dog must be bumping into furniture and others cause the dog is sick and got easily blind the dog's eyes, so the veterinarian made this device called the ''halo'' which is a strange name for the device that would keep the dog from bumping into things.
    Critical thinking challenge: How does the ''halo'' keep blind dogs from bumping into things?
    Answer: The hoop from the halo will keep the dog from bumping into things because when the hoop bumps into a wall, this will allow the dog to change directions.

  • Brady_TwenniWan
    11/03/2014 - 09:15 p.m.

    I love it! The price is pretty high though, If the pets are in need of something that makes it safer for them there are probably way better ways to help them. The truth is I can't see this being that hard to make. It sounds like they could be doing it for free if they actually wanted to benefit pets, because if someone is making say $12 an hour and they have a pet it's going to be tough to afford this because of groceries as well. Not to mention pet food, anyway the point is it's a great product but it could be greater.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    11/03/2014 - 09:20 p.m.

    I think this is very heroic because they help blind dogs by helping them not crash their faces into the wall. This would mean that the dogs would live a better life if they had the halo. The dogs wouldn't have to crash their bodies into the wall just to find their way. If they had the halo, then they wouldn't have to get hurt. I think this is a very smart idea. The hoop allows the dogs to not get facial injury. That would minimize the damage. But, I think the halo should be made of stronger and more flexible material because copper rusts and then people would have to buy another one for their dogs.
    Critical thinking challenge: How does the halo keep blind dogs from bumping into things?
    Answer: The "halo" keeps blind dogs from bumping into things by their round hoop. The round hoop prevents dogs from bumping into things. The hoop bumps into things for the dogs so the dogs know where they are going.

  • Jess17
    11/04/2014 - 10:11 a.m.

    I think this is such a cute idea because it is like a costume and seeing aid all in one. I think it is great that people are more willing to help animals.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT